Who we are
Since we opened in 2004, Footsteps Nursery has continued to develop our setting and our practice to meet the needs of the children we care for, as well as their families. Our nursery was completed in 2014 with the addition of an extension that increased the number of children we can care for to 108 per session. Since 2009 we have consistently been rated OUTSTANDING by Ofsted:
"Teaching is outstanding. The staff’s understanding of the educational philosophy they apply in the nursery is excellent and effectively meets the needs and interests of all the children attending. Children make excellent progress from their identified initial starting points, including those who have special educational needs or disabilities." – Ofsted, Nov 2018
Footsteps Nursery is owned by Westfield Housing Association and is a ‘not for profit’ organisation. Our primary concern is, and will always be, the wellbeing, happiness and holistic development of each individual child, surrounded by peace and love, ensuring the best possible start in life. We hope that you will give us the opportunity to offer this to your child.
Where we are
Based in the Minto Centre, Workington, Footsteps Nursery is a purpose-built setting that has everything your child needs in these hugely important and formative years. As well as our dedicated rooms that are organised by age, we continually strive to further develop the already excellent outdoor provision that your child can enjoy.
"The best classroom and the richest cupboard is roofed only by the sky" (McMillan 1919)
Based on this inspirational quote we ensure that all our children have access free flow play at all times. We have created a fantastic New Zealand sand pit, which is used by all the children, a covered pergola area allowing free flow play for the youngest children, a Buzz Tower and a Story Tellers’ Area. These spaces have enriched the pre-school garden to great effect – Ofsted reported that “children throughout the nursery show a strong exploratory approach as they freely choose to play indoors or outside.”
How we work
We are guided by The Early Years Foundation Stage framework, working closely within our own team of Early Years practitioners and teachers, as well as with Cumbria County Council’s Early Years team. Every member of our team is qualified to level 3 or above, and highly experienced. We believe in Continuous Professional Development (CPD) and encourage our team to embrace the challenge of furthering their skills and professional qualifications. We have a high percentage of team members who have achieved their Early Years Professional/Teacher (EYP/EYT) status, which we hope will help you to feel confident that your child is in safe hands.
We operate a Key Worker system which aims to provide your child with a person they know they can go to and receive consistent care. This ensures your child has someone with whom they can build a relationship as they grow and develop throughout their time at nursery. Every child deserves support, and a nurturing environment, and that’s precisely what we aim to offer at Footsteps.
Working with parents
Every member of our team understands that you are the expert when it comes to your child. There’s nobody who knows this new, small person better than you do, and we value your input greatly – it can help us to give your child exactly what they need at nursery, particularly as they settle into the setting. With this in mind, our childcare practitioners are encouraged to communicate with and listen to parents, encouraging them to interact within the setting. It is important to us that all our parents feel listened to, respected and, above all else, very welcome.